One of the many wonderful things about making jewelry is that it is, like any other hobby, an opportunity to learn something new. No matter your skill level or area of expertise, you will always find a new technique to learn, a new color palette to discover or a new bead or finding that changes the way you design. With that in mind, our designers have put together some lists of materials you will need - and their applications - to help you grow and learn. Beginnings Beaders
- we've written an entire section on Beading Basics
dedicated to getting you started right. Intermediate Beaders:
Once you have mastered basic skills like stringing, basic wire wrapping and earring construction, you may want to learn something new. What would that be? When it comes to making jewelry, the possibilities can seem endless. You will know you are an intermediate level beader when you start seeing inspiration everywhere and you start looking to combine your different skills and techniques to create unique jewelry designs of your own. Here are a few products our designers recommend as you delve deeper into the world of beading:
- Artistic Wire. Artistic, or craft, wire has many uses. You can use it to create your own findings such as eye pins or jump rings. You can use it to create wire wrapped bracelets and wire rings and even wire wrap pendants. There are all kinds of fun tools and supplies to help you work with wire and it comes in many different colors and sizes, so you can find many great uses for it.
- Chain by the Foot. Working with chain can be very fun. It will open up many possibilities in what you can do with your designs. You can make charm or drop beaded bracelets, for example. You can make your own extender chains. You can make chain earrings. Make multi-stranded chain necklaces or bracelets. Make beaded sections that connect to chain. You really can do just about anything with chain by the foot!
- Leather and Cording. Leather can be used to make simple necklaces displaying a charm or pendant or it can be used for more complicated projects. Rat tail and satin cording can be used for things like Kumihimo or just as a simple stringing material. Once you have learned the techniques involved in basic beading and stringing, you will find working with other materials is very enjoyable and adds interest to your jewelry designs.
- Fireline or Bead Thread. From peyote stitches to right angle weave to an embellished ladder stitch, you will find yourself immersed in the wonderful world of bead weaving. Many are intimidated by it, but start with a few simple stitches and you might just discover that you thoroughly enjoy weaving and that its applications, techniques and uses seem endless.
- Beading Needles. If you are investing in beading thread, you will need needles. The assorted pack works well because it has size 10 and size 12 needles, so you will have the size you need for the project at hand.
Once you have mastered the basics and started exploring new techniques, tools and beads, you will start to find a style and discover new skill sets. This is when beading gets really fun! Advanced Beaders:
When you know quite a bit about stitching and weaving, working with chain, miscellaneous stringing and wire wrapping techniques - and you know how to combine those into one great piece of jewelry - you are probably an advanced beader. Having said that, you have probably discovered that you are more advanced in some areas than others either because they make more sense to you or are just more interesting. Shanna, for example, would consider herself advanced in stitching and weaving techniques but more intermediate in working with wire. (Her first woven project was actually the puffy heart pendant
, which is like skiing a black without ever taking a skiing lesson in your life and is NOT recommended!) It is perfectly normal to prefer certain things and not others. When you recognize that, you will want to become an "expert" at those things you enjoy. Subscribe to beading magazines that are specific to your interests. Watch videos
that teach you a new type of stitch or a new way to work with wire. Submit your designs to magazines, share them with friends and family, or sell them online or to a bead shop. Share your accomplishments - and creativity - with the world!
Check out our free online jewelry making videos to learn new skills. From basic beading to stitching and wire wrapping, we show you the techniques you need to master to become an expert beader! Back to Top